Their article is taken from Issues up Front written by Dave Spiva
This study was taken with 227 veterans and determined Those paired with service dogs reduced their symptoms and fewer suicidal tendencies.
A VA study published last year found that veterans with service dogs helped veterans with their PTSD symptoms more effectively than emotional support dogs. Although Emotional Support Dogs offer some quality of life benefits to a veteran the results of helping reduce symptoms of PTSD far excelled with service dogs.
VA estimates 17 -18 veterans on average committed subside each day of 2018, and 89,160 died from suicide from 2005-2018. This only includes men and women who no longer serve in the military-troops were not included in the study.
For the study, VA researched a group of 227 veterans, 153 participated with service or es dogs for 18 months. The study concluded that the veterans, no matter if they had a service dog or emotional support dog, experienced some improvements with their mental health, they also experienced less lack of sleep and reduced anger issues.
The VA notes limitations to the study, such as the lack of a control group of veterans who did not have a service or emotional support dog.and not being able to analyze veterans who do not have have service or emotional support dogs. The study stated it would be unethical to ask participants to stop utilizing their existing PTSD therapies to allow a comparison of veterans with service or emotional support dogs
Joan Richardson, the VA study chairwoman, stated she expects the study ‘s findings to impact the eligibility criteria for the service dog insurance benefits program provided by VA. Also legislation is pending in Congress, Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (Paws). If made into law the Paws Act (H.R. 1022) would require VA to establish a grant program that provides up to $25,000 to eligible non profits that pair veterans with service dogs. To qualify veterans must be enrolled in the VA health care system and have a PTSD diagnosis.
Rep.John Rutherford(R-FL) introduced the PAWS Act, VFW Department of Florida-member Michael Waltz, an army veteran who served in the Afghanistan War, is a co -sponsor of this bill “ Congress has an obligation to do all can to help veterans returning from overseas deployments who suffer from PTSD. By partnering with organizations to pair service dogs with veterans, we will save veteran lives and canine lives. The partnership provides solutions scientifically proven to improve PTSD symptoms. This bill awaits approval of Senate and President Joe Biden